Ah, yes....August: the month the garden begins to crank out so much produce that we can become quickly overwhelmed by the bounty (and, perhaps, the vegetables begin to overtake the refrigerator)! It comes on so quickly, and it also so fleeting. It's time to get busy in the kitchen, preparing fresh meals throughout the week, as well as making the time to preserve items that seem to be stockpiling. Here are some recipes that may help. Do try to enjoy this time of plenty!
2 Large onions
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. butter
3 3/4 cups vegetable stock or broth, or beef if you prefer
4 slices French bread
1 1/2 to 2 oz. Gruyere, Parmesan, or Cheddar cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Chop the onions into 1/4 inch pieces. Heat the oil and butter in a deep, medium-size pot so that the onions form a thick layer.
- Saute the onions for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat and cook gently 45-60 minutes. Stir more frequently as the onions begin to color to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of pan. The onions gradually turn golden and then more rapidly to brown, so take care not to let them burn.
- When the onions are a rich brown, add the vegetable or beef broth. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the broiler and toast the French bread. Spoon the soup into four ovenproof serving dishes and place a piece of bread on top of each. Sprinkle with the cheese and broil for a few minutes, until golden and bubbling. Season with freshly ground pepper and serve.
Sweet and Sour Onions
Carefully peel 2 large ‘Walla-Walla’ Sweet onions or any mild red onions, keeping the ends intact so that the layers stay together. Cut the onions into 10-12 sections and place the pieces in an oil-rubbed baking dish. Combine and whisk together the following:
4 Tbs. wholegrain mustard
4 Tbs. honey
4 Tbs. red wine vinegar
4 Tbs. of canola or safflower oil
Brush this mixture over the onions, cover the dish and bake in a preheated 425’F/gas 7 oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes, or until the onions are soft and caramelized.
Annie's Candy (compliments of Tamera)
A great way to preserve and enjoy those 'Walla-Walla' sweet onions! Recipe is scaled down for a small batch, but this recipe is easily doubled for maximum preserving.
2-3 large 'Walla-Walla' onions, sliced into 1/4" thick rings
1/8 - 1/4 C. tamari
1-2 Tbs. olive oil (just enough to coat the onions in the bowl)
In a large bowl, toss the onion rings with olive oil to coat. Add tamari, stirring onions to coat evenly. Cover the bowl, allowing the onions to marinate in the tamari on your countertop for several hours. The onions will wilt down as they soak in the marinade. If you have a dehydrator, place the marinated onions on the screens and dehydrate them at 105'F for 24 hrs. The result is sweet, salty onion leather! I don't have a dehydrator unit, so I'm going to try drying them down in the oven, on the lowest setting with the door cracked to allow the moisture to escape.
Cabbage Paprikash Soup
5 to 6 servings
90 cal, 4 g fat, 45 mg sodium, 2 g fiber per serving
To stretch this soup, add up to 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes. Chopped fresh dill and a dot of sour cream makes the perfect garnish.
2 Tbs butter
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
4 cups thinly sliced green or red cabbage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs paprika
5 1/2 – 6 cups vegetable stock
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 Tbs tomato paste
Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 tsp sugar
Freshly ground pepper
Directions: Melt the butter in a medium soup pot. Stir in the onion and sauté over medium heat for 8-9 minutes, until translucent. Add the cabbage, salt lightly, and sauté 10 minutes more, until all the cabbage is wilted. Stir in the garlic and paprika and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the vegetable stock, carrot, tomato paste, and more salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add about 1/2 each of the lemon juice and sugar; simmer briefly, then taste, adding more sugar and lemon juice to get a mellow but distinctively sweet-tart broth. Add pepper to taste; dill and sour cream to garnish. Serve hot.
Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage (Kitchen Garden magazine)
1 red cabbage (about 2 lbs.), cored
1/2 C. water
1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1-2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1 tsp. kosher salt
Cut the cabbage into very thin slices. Place the water, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the cabbage, and set over medium heat. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce to med.-low heat. Add the diced apple, cover the pan, and cook until the cabbage is completely wilted and tender, 25-30 min. Remove from the heat. Adjust the seasoning with sugar or vinegar, and salt to taste. Transfer to a bowl or platter, and serve immediately.
Sauteed Green Beans with Warm Gorgonzola Vinaigrette
Makes 6 servings
6 C. lightly salted boiling water
1 lb. (about 5 C.) green beans
3 tsp. olive oil
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. chopped garlic
3/4 tsp. chopped shallots (onion will sub. fine)
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh basil, or 1/4 tsp. dried
salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan, bring about 6 C. of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the beans and blanch by boiling them for 4 minutes. Drain beans immediately and immerse them in ice water to stop them from cooking; drain.
- In a small saucepan, combine olive oil, vinegar, gorgonzola, brown sugar, garlic, shallots, thyme and basil. Warm over medium heat until the ingredients start to combine, about 7 minutes.
- Toss the green beans with the warm vinaigrette and serve immediately.
Green Beans with Tomatoes, Garlic, and Lemon Zest (The Oregonian's Food Day)
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
2 Tbs. olive oil or butter
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 C. roughly chopped basil or parsley (optional)
Place beans in a wide, deep skillet. Add enough water to cover about halfway; add the salt. Bring to a boil and cook the beans, uncovered, until the water has almost cooked away and the beans are crisp-tender; don't let the pan cook totally dry. Taste the beans midway; if they're getting tender quickly, pour off the remaining water; if they're still tough, add a little more water.
Adjust the heat to med.-high. Make a little clearing in the beans; add the oil and garlic. Let the garlic sizzle a few seconds, then add the tomatoes and toss everything together (tongs make this easy). Cook, tossing occasionally, until the tomato juices start to thicken and coat the beans. Fold in the lemon zest, season with pepper and taste for salt. Finish with the parsley or basil, if using, and serve immediately. Add a little lemon juice with the lemon zest if you wish to make it a little brighter.
Moroccan Carrot Soup (Vegetarian Times magazine)
serves 6; great served with hummus, sliced cucumbers or raita, and pita bread
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 1/2 lbs. carrots, sliced 1/4" thick
1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (1 large or 2 medium)
1 large Granny Smith, or other tart apple, peeled and diced
5 1/2 C. low-sodium vegetable broth
2 Tbs. long-grain white rice
1/4 tsp. curry powder (mild or hot, whichever you prefer)
1/4 tsp. ground coriander (freshly ground is best)
1 bay leaf
Fresh lemon juice
Flat-leaf parsley sprigs, chopped finely for the top at serving time.
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add fennel seeds and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 2-3 min. Add carrots, sweet potatoes, and apple; cook 5 min., stirring often. Add broth, rice, curry powder, coriander and bay leaf.
2. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 min.
3. Discard bay leaf. Puree soup in batches. Add lemon juice, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.
Curried Zucchini Rice (The Oregonian's Food Day)
makes 6 C.
2 C. basmati rice
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 Tbs. mild curry powder
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 3/4 C. water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. currants
1 C. plain yogurt
1 1/2 C. coarsely grated zucchini
(1) 15 1/2 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained, or 1 1/2 C. home-cooked
2 tsp. finely minced fresh mint
Preheat oven to 375'F. Place rice in mesh strainer and wash under cold running water until the water runs clear. Drain well. Heat olive oil in med. heavy-bottomed ovenproof pan over med.-high heat. Add onion and curry powder and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Stir in garlic and drained rice. Add water, salt, currants, and yogurt and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil. Stir and cover with tight-fitting lid or foil. Bake about 15 min. or until rice is tender. Remove from the oven. Fluff rice with a fork, fold in zucchini, garbanzo beans and mint. Cover and let rest 5 min. to heat the beans and zucchini through.
Zucchini Cake (by Jennifer Lise Louis)
(A favorite of mine when I was apprenticing at Sauvie Island Organics outside of Portland. Very pretty when baked in a fluted pan)
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. olive oil
1 3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. buttermilk
2 1/2 C. flour
4 Tbs. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly ground coriander
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 C. shredded zucchini or other summer squash
1/2 C. chocolate chips or carob chips (optional, but oh-so-good!)
1. Preheat oven to 350'F. Cream butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 min.
2. Add eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and beat well until combined
3. Mix dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.
4. Fold in shredded zucchini and chocolate ships.
5. Bake at 350'F about 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.